Can you have an ectopic pregnancy without pain? - Mothering Forums

Can you have an ectopic pregnancy without pain?

LeahBoo's Avatar LeahBoo (TS)
12:49 AM Liked: 5
#1 of 11
11-30-2011 | Posts: 560
Joined: Feb 2006

I'm not sure where to post this.


My best friend was told at 19 that there was too much scar tissue on her fallopian tubes (from an STD that was treated too late) to get pregnant, and that if she ever did, it would likely be ectopic.


She's lived with her boyfriend for more than a year, before that, she'd had a few long term relationships and she was married at one time.  She rarely used birth control.  She has wanted a baby since she was 17, she's 31 now.


Her periods were also really abnormal since they started.  She'd go months without them, or get one every couple weeks.  She never tracked them because she wasn't ever going to get pregnant.  But for most of the time she's been with this guy, her periods followed a normal course.  Then a few months ago (I don't know how many! at least 3, probably longer), they stopped.  No big deal, that's how they were with her.  Then she started gaining weight, but she gains weight around her midsection. 


Last night she took a pregnancy test, faint positive.  Then this morning, she took 2 more, they were very clear positives.


She has had no pain, no period, and no morning sickness, though a generally decreased appetite.  She has also gained weight.


She looks pregnant.  But like I said, that's where she gains weight anyway (every time she gains a little weight, she gets asked if she's pregnant).


I think if it were an ectopic pregnancy, she'd be in some sort pain before now, right?  She hasn't made a doctors appointment yet because she's been so freaked out today.  Knowing possibly that her dream might be dashed if she finds out it is ectopic.


She doesn't expect it to turn out well, but even thought she knows it might not, she's still going to be crushed.  I'd like to give her some measure of hope, but I don't know if that would be good or bad.  Expect the worst, hope for the best?


So anyway, have you ever heard of ectopic pregnancies that went on for months (maybe?) and didn't cause any sort of pain or bleeding?

DoubleDouble's Avatar DoubleDouble
04:43 AM Liked: 132
#2 of 11
11-30-2011 | Posts: 343
Joined: Oct 2011

She should go and get an ultrasound. A gestational sack can be seen at 3 weeks after conception.

hildare's Avatar hildare
07:19 AM Liked: 382
#3 of 11
11-30-2011 | Posts: 2,680
Joined: Jul 2009

if you're saying she's 12 weeks (?) then an ultrasound will absolutely show whether the baby is in the right place or if it's an ectopic.

i've had scans as early as 5 weeks to rule out a repeat ectopic, so that's a possibility if i am misunderstanding you.

one can have an ectopic with no pain or symptoms until it's too late and a tube has burst.  it sounds like she's doing well but any health care provider will do an ultrasound really quickly under those circumstances.  that would be the best and smartest thing to do. 

plus, even if it is an ectopic this time, that doesn't rule out future pregnancies.  i've had successful pregnancies after ectopic myself.

butterfly_mommy's Avatar butterfly_mommy
08:34 AM Liked: 48
#4 of 11
11-30-2011 | Posts: 1,484
Joined: Oct 2007

I agree that an ultrasound is in order. However I doubt she is 12 weeks pregnant with a faint HPT even in the evening. However she could be a few weeks along. 

LivingSky's Avatar LivingSky
08:37 AM Liked: 54
#5 of 11
11-30-2011 | Posts: 1,389
Joined: Aug 2010
Well, based on what you said her pregnancy test results showed, I wouldn't think she's that far along. If she's only now just getting faint and then clear positives in the last few days, she's probably in the range of 4-5 weeks pregnant (14 - 21 DPO). She has a history of abnormal length cycles, so just because she hasn't had a period in 3 months doesn't mean she's 3 months pregnant.

And yes, it is certainly possible to have a healthy pregnancy even with heavily scarred/damaged fallopian tubes.

But, she could also definitely have an ectopic pregnancy without pain at this point. It is really important that she get checked to make sure it is not an ectopic pregnancy. An undiagnosed ectopic can be potentially fatal, if something ruptures and she hemorrages. Please encourage her to get an ultrasound!
WaitingForKiddos's Avatar WaitingForKiddos
09:13 AM Liked: 35
#6 of 11
11-30-2011 | Posts: 2,393
Joined: Nov 2006

I had two different episodes of pain when I found out I had an ectopic. The first was at what would have been about 5 weeks LMP. I was shopping with DS, then just under 6 months old. My cycles had just returned. The pain was intense and made me have to set DS down. I was hot and sweaty. But then the pain passed about 10 minutes later. I figured it was gas pain or left over cesarean pain. On a fluke I went in to see my OB the next day. Pregnancy test was pos. During the waiting time to figure out if the pregnancy was ectopic or not (nothing was on the ultrasound either in my tube or uterus) I had zero pain. A week after a Metho. injection, which failed, I had a HUGE amount of pain. HUGE. Like labor. I couldn't move. Thankfully two friends were over and DH showed up a little while later. My tube had ruptured. 

So, for me, there was lots of pain with my ectopic. Good luck to your friend. 

Lisa1970's Avatar Lisa1970
07:17 PM Liked: 113
#7 of 11
11-30-2011 | Posts: 2,526
Joined: Jan 2009

I had an ectopic outside the tube before. I was doing fertility treatments at the time so it was caught very early. I don't know if I would have been in a bunch of pain given more time.

LeahBoo's Avatar LeahBoo (TS)
11:32 PM Liked: 5
#8 of 11
11-30-2011 | Posts: 560
Joined: Feb 2006

I never said she was 12 weeks or more.  Just a possibility. :)


She went in today and she is indeed pregnant, and about 7 weeks along.  They'll do the first ultrasound next week, but by the sounds of it, they're expecting it to be a normal pregnancy.


I hope it turns out well.  

hildare's Avatar hildare
07:54 AM Liked: 382
#9 of 11
12-01-2011 | Posts: 2,680
Joined: Jul 2009

yay!  there's also a connection with a progesterone level, over a certain number means that ectopic is much less likely-- maybe that's something they found out.  happy news!

LeahBoo's Avatar LeahBoo (TS)
10:07 PM Liked: 5
#10 of 11
12-16-2011 | Posts: 560
Joined: Feb 2006

Happy Update


Sorry, forgot to update the post with the happy news!  Her boyfriend started a new job right after they found out, and he couldn't go with her to the ultrasound so I went instead.  Ultrasound showed a healthy baby, the OB predicted it to be 9 weeks and 4 days.  So this puts her at just about 11 weeks now (ultrasound was on the 7th).  We got to see the little heartbeat and everything :).  She named it E.T.

deborahbgkelly's Avatar deborahbgkelly
02:46 PM Liked: 48
#11 of 11
12-18-2011 | Posts: 2,964
Joined: Feb 2011

That's wonderful LeahBoo!

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